Smells Like Rove
So today at work, Columbine Boy launced a conversation about politics.
He asked me if I knew why there was a shortage of flu vaccine.
Sure, I answered, because one of the major producers produced a contaminated lot and they were shut down.
Not satisfied, he asked me if I knew the "real" reason.
I guess I should have seen it coming.
I explained that US drug companies don't want to manufacture it, because there's no money in it. They are unable to charge much for a vaccine that is pretty formulaic at this point, and consumers won't pay much more than they paid last year. I went on to explain that most countries in the world feel it meet and right to subsidize vaccine production, so they don't have these problems.
No! Columbine Boy all but had to wipe saliva from his chin.
He explained that the "real" reason is that there was a lawsuit by a guy who got a flu vaccine, but caught the flu anyway. He won $5 million. So all the drug makers stopped making vaccine because they didn't want to be sued. I guess he was expecting shock and outrage on my part. When I failed to take the bait, he went on.
"And do you know who the lawyer was that represented the guy? John Edwards. John Kerry's running mate."
Now, after absolutely no research on the internet, I am prepared to say that this is totally bogus.
But it totally sounds like the work of Karl Rove.
I read, in the New Yorker I think, about a race for the Alabama Supreme Court. The incumbent was a Democrat, and was targeted by the state's Republican apparatus. Races for judgeships are usually pretty dull. Being flashy or caustic doesn't burnish your judicial credentials.
In stepped Karl Rove. He decided to make the candidates big asset a disadvantage. The judge was a huge advocate for children, and founded a statewide organization to pass laws for tougher prosecution of child molesters and the like. In the course of his work, he had been often photographed with children. You know, reading to second graders, that kind of thing. Rove focused on the Alabama state law school. The vast majority of the students were from all corners of Alabama. They were going to be wrapping up their course work and heading back to their farflung home towns. So Rove distributed a flyer that showed a picture of the judge with two young boys, and claimed that it was widely known that he was a child molester. By the time the election rolled around, it was common knowledge in Alabama that one of the justices on the highest court in the Red Dirt state was a pederast.
And he was defeated.
Where the heck did Columbine Boy get this fantastic tale?
It's gotta be.
I've gotta head out to get a tattoo.